May 24, 2024
Hennessy Court 3rd floor Sir John Pope Hennessy street Port-Louis

POCH IS ON LINE ONE, ED Even Solskjaer knows Pochettino is Manchester Utd’s next manager… so what is Woodward waiting for?

He knows it. Old Trafford’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward knows it. Deep down, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer probably knows it too.

The Argentine was the man Woodward wanted to replace Jose Mourinho in December 2018.

He is the man Sir Alex Ferguson would favour to drag the club back towards its glory days.

And he is a manager who’d command respect and dedication from players who have not shown enough of either quality towards Solskjaer.


It is only a matter of time now because nobody with any footballing knowledge believes the Norwegian has either the tactical expertise or the strength of personality to cure United’s long-term malaise.

The year is only nine days old and United have already been bullied by Arsenal, embarrassed by Manchester City and failed to muster a single shot on target in an FA Cup stalemate at Wolves.

On Sunday week, they head to Liverpool, currently as dominant a force as English football has ever known.

Liverpool away did for Mourinho last season. Solskjaer may suffer the same fate.

United would still have to pay compensation to Spurs, as Pochettino is effectively on gardening leave.

But the process would be far less painful than when Solskjaer’s extraordinary caretaker spell persuaded United to back out of a fight with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.

Since his sacking by Spurs in November, Poch has been enjoying his first break from football in seven years.

United captain on the night Marcus Rashford admitted they just could not come to terms with what City were doing.

But soon this obsessive workaholic will be desperate to get back.

Yet if Pochettino allowed his head to rule his heart would he take the United job?

This is a club with the highest wage bill in Premier League history — around £330million a year — and yet it somehow lacks experience, defensive nous, midfield creativity and a genuine centre-forward.

Where does a new manager even begin to get to grips with that?

Knowing Pochettino, it would start with sweatshop training, extreme team bonding (those hot coals burn your bare soles, boys) and a zero-tolerance approach to dressing-room malcontents.

Paul Pogba would either shape up or slope off. There would be no chance of the Frenchman continuing to brood and agitate.

And recruitment would become laser-focused on improving United’s actual team, rather than their social-media reach and shirt sales.

Poch loves promoting and improving youngsters — and United have many promising ones.

But he will realise the need to buy proven players at their peak — in defence, central midfield and at centre-forward.

The first half of Tuesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg loss to City was a new low in the post-Ferguson era. United were laugh-out-loud bad.

They can continue to drift this season, speaking vainly about a ‘long-term process’ under Solskjaer.

Or they could take the sensible option and call for Pochettino. He would crave the challenge, even if he really shouldn’t.

So what are United waiting for?

Source : THE SUN